Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Master Plan Of Discipleship - Intro!

And he said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mk. 16:15) 

The Great Commission 

Discipling men and women is the priority around which our lives should be oriented. 

Why do we say this? Because Jesus Christ Himself said it in His final words before His Ascension into heaven.

Matthew's account sums it up: "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you..." (Matt. 28:19,20). Significantly, in the original text, "go," "baptizing," and "teaching" are participles. This means that these responsibilities derive their direction from the leading verb, "make disciples," or as it might be translated, "make learners of Christ."

It shouldn't seem strange that our Lord would place such a high priority on discipling. After all, Jesus was simply asking His followers to do what He had done with them. That is why they could understand it. As they had freely received, now they were to transmit what they had learned to other seekers of truth. The mandate was the articulation of the rule by which Christ had directed His ministry. Through slow, and not accomplished without great sacrifice, He knew His way would succeed. For as individuals learn of Him and follow the pattern of His life, they will invariably become disciplers, and as their disciples in turn do the same, someday through multiplication the world will come to know Him whom to know aright is life everlasting. 

A Personal Yearning 

At the outset, let me state that I do not have all the answers. At best I only see through the glass darkly, as doubtless many of my readers will heartily agree. Many questions remain unresolved unresolved in my mind. But I believe that in His Word God has given us sufficient revelation to move forward. The Bible makes no mistakes. What I fail to understand in its inerrant message does not concern me nearly as much as what I do understand.

The more I have probed the dynamic of those first-century disciples, the more I am made aware of my own impotency. It is like comparing a river at flood stage with a trickling creek. The contrast leaves me convicted. J.B. Phillips, introducing his translation of Acts, expressed the feeling when he said "to turn from the vitality of these pages to almost any other current Christian writing, be it a theological book or a church periodical, is to bring tears to Christian eyes."

Yet how invigorating is the change of outlook! Getting into the Book of Acts is like opening a window in a stuffy room. The wind of the Spirit blows through it. Here is reality. Feeling its emerging freshness, we should neither try to excuse our spiritual ineptness, nor relegate it's vitality to a bygone era. The apostolic church, not the prevailing mediocrity of our religious community, sets the norm. Where we perceive our shortcomings, in all honesty, we should seek to bring our lives into conformity with the New Testament standard.

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! This is only part one of what will eventually be an eight part series. My hope and prayer is that everyone that takes the time to read through this series will also take the time to help me spread the word out to everyone that you know who will benefit from this series and any of the other posts that have been written before this one. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name friends and always remember that JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)